Thursday, December 24, 2009

Faith -- and Christmas Wishes

I know! We can't believe it either!

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The Russell Family has moved again.

Sometimes life goes according to our plans. Sometimes it just doesn't. Our little church plant in Riverside where Daniel was the Student Ministries Pastor did not grow as hoped, and in late September he stopped working there. We put our house on the market in early November, and it sold in 6 days! Lord willing, we should close escrow before Christmas. Right now we are living with family, enojying having Daniel home with us, and finishing up our first semester of homeschool. Where God will direct us, we don't know. But we know He is faithful, and we are excited to wait on Him for our next step in life.

Now that we have that out of the way.....

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Reflecting on the last year is always fun, so join us on a brief walk down
(our) Memory Lane.

Juliana, Jules, Ju-Ju. This 3 year old with many nicknames truly brings light and joy into everyone's lives, and so Sunshine is the name we call her the most. She is sweet, charming, and still quite mischievous, but mostly she is fun and full of life, imitating everything her siblings do from Martial Arts and Soccer, to reading and writing. 

Gabriel, 5, earned his orange belt in Mixed Martial Arts in November (he is pictured with his instructor). He remains an easy-going, fun, bright boy, but we learned this year that he is extremely literal. Our favorite quote of the year: Mom, I love you to the farthest star and back, even though you would be dead before you get there.

Our big girl, Mckenna, turned 8 in October and discovered a new love: SOCCER. This mom and dad are ecstatic. She played goalie most of the season, and was great, and loved it…but in her final game she played forward for 10 minutes and scored 2 goals! For her birthday we gave her a cat, whom she named Evenstar, and the two of them are the best of buds. It helps that the cat acts like a dog! Art is still her favorite activity, and we enjoy the fruits of her labor.

Through all of our smiles and tears, one thing has stood out for us this year, and that is the faith of our children. They have faith in us, their parents, that we will care for them. They have learned to have faith that home is wherever the 5 of us are, and a house does not make a home. We make a home. And their faith in the Lord has grown. Mckenna has a quiet faith, one that knows to pray when things are hard or sad, one that means she is excited to learn about God, and one that has seen her through pain. Gabriel has a bold faith. He tells everyone he sees about Jesus, prays every day for people and for things we do not expect him to understand, and he is not ashamed. He asks questions and will patiently listen to the answer, even when it's long. And Juliana has a budding faith. She loves to tell the stories she knows about Jesus, and Christmas has been such a fun time as she sees baby Jesus everywhere we go. 

All thing things that have been taken away this year seem insignificant compared to seeing the faith of our kids increase.

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